Samsung Electronics reports record Q4 and full year profits

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Samsung Electronics reported a 73 percent jump in its fourth quarter net profit on Wednesday, setting a record for any three-month period, mainly driven by demand for its memory chips and display panels.

Net profit for the October to December period rose to 12.26 trillion won ($11.4 billion), up from 7.09 trillion won a year earlier, the South Korean tech giant said in a statement.


Samsung Electronics, the flagship subsidiary of the giant Samsung Group, has had to overcome a humiliating recall of the Galaxy Note 7 device and the jailing of its vice-chairman Lee Jae-Yong on corruption charges, but its financial performance has gone from strength to strength.

Operating profit came to 15.15 trillion won in the fourth quarter, up 64.3 percent won from a year earlier, it said. Sales were up 23.7 percent to 65.98 trillion won.

Fourth quarter earnings were driven by the components business, with the largest contribution coming from the memory business that manufactures DRAM and NAND chips, the company said.

"Orders for high-performance memory products for servers and mobile storage were strong," but seasonal factors impacted growth for the System LSI and Foundry businesses, it said.

The display panel business, which manufactures OLED and LCD screens, saw increased shipments of OLED panels for premium smartphones, but profitability for LCD panels decreased due to weak seasonality.

Earnings in the mobile business declined due to a hike in marketing costs, Samsung said.

For the full year, net profit was also a record at 42.19 trillion won, up 85.6 percent on 2016, on sales of 239.58 trillion won.

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